diagram of molecules

CBD Bioavailability and Why It Matters

Wealth, friends, and even spouses, if lost, can be regained or acquired again somehow. But the body, once gone, will never come back- no matter how hard we try to revive the life that’s lost. Our bodies are essential vessels for our lives and experiences. Since we only live once, we make it a vow to spend every day of our lives sustaining and refining our bodies in the best way we can.

It is the battle between humanity and certain external factors affecting the body that has motivated us to be more conscious of our health and wellbeing. While not all self-care practices may work for everyone, there are several commonalities that most people could agree on when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle. For instance, we tend to follow proper dietary habits, sign up for fitness clubs, practice mindful meditation, follow skincare routines, complete seven to nine hours of sleep, and most of all, get a dose of supplements for immunity. Our bodies need to be able to effectively respond to external factors, such as virus, disease, and disability, to survive. As a result, many pharmaceutical scientists from around the world are working hand in hand to discover, develop, and manufacture new medications and supplements that may improve immunity and wellness.

Pipette with CBD cosmetic oil in female hands on a table background with cosmetics, cream with cannabis and hemp leaves, marijuana.

Today, times are exciting in the world of CBD.

You might have heard of CBD as a supplement for self-care and wellness. In the past few years, market interest in CBD has gone through the roof- making it a potential holy grail for the health-conscious. With immense popularity, it seems like a new and improved CBD product enters the market each day, leaving us with an influx of choices from the latest CBD oil to delicious gummies. While studies on CBD’s therapeutic potential are still in their infancy, consumers need to keep in mind that what’s healthy for their bodies may not always work well for others. Each body has a different tolerance, resistance, and sensitivity towards supplements and food products, for a variety of different reasons. Thus, when making CBD purchases, one must understand a product’s bioavailability to determine whether a proper dose ends up in their system, and expectations towards possible effectiveness are met.

Bioavailability may sound a bit overwhelming, whether you are a well-versed CBD user or a newbie.

At Goodbody, we are here to guide you on your first purchase and make it a good experience. There are several FAQs regarding CBD’s potential effectiveness: How much CBD is required to be considered adequate? Is there something like ‘the best way’ to take CBD? These questions often touch on the issue of CBD bioavailability. Let us explore what research has to say about it and why it matters to consumers.

The Science behind CBD and Bioavailability

Understanding these terms and their meaning within the context of hemp-based cannabinoids is much easier if we start with some basic knowledge. Let’s start by answering the most basic question: what is CBD?

Cannabidiol, popularly known as CBD, is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid or chemical compound derived from hemp (a cannabis Sativa strain). Hemp is high in CBD and low in an intoxicating compound known as THC meaning CBD may not exhibit any euphoric effects or cause a ‘high’ (Iffland et al.,2017).

For so many years CBD has lived in the shadow of its intoxicating cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Whilst it has been found to be a powerful cannabinoid it does not affect the user in the same intoxicating way.

Many people confuse CBD with THC— and while they are both present in the cannabis plant, the two cannabinoids are very different from each other. THC produces a ‘high’ effect from the use of recreational marijuana. That’s probably one of the reasons why many consumers view CBD products as a preferable alternative to marijuana- CBD doesn’t get you high, but it has the potential to get you healthy. Central to this presumption are a number of studies that suggest the potential benefits of using CBD, such as impacting some symptoms associated with pain. Besides the intended possible benefit, consuming CBD may also promote a general sense of relaxation, lightness, and clarity (Kogan et al.,2007).

Cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, are considered lipophilic, or, in simpler terms, oil-based. With their natural lipophilic texture, cannabinoids will likely float and not mix when poured into water. Given then that the solubility level of cannabinoids is low, dissolving them in the human body (which generally comprises up to 60% water) is often problematic. It’s a good thing pharmaceutical science never stops to find solutions to address the case. Scientists have developed new ways to allow oil-based molecules to be more readily absorbed by the bloodstream, instead of water-based bodies which offers more bioavailability. In simple terms bioavailability is the rate (usually expressed as a percentage) that CBD is absorbed into the body where it may have potential effects.

Here’s how it works: When CBD reaches the blood, its active ingredients (AIs) are then transported to various receptors throughout the body, enabling their potential effects to be felt wherever needed. For instance, when AIs are  injected right into the bloodstream, it would clearly show that 100% of the taken CBD has reached the bloodstream. In a nutshell, the term “bioavailability” refers to the amount and rate of the drug’s active ingredients that are absorbed by the bloodstream. Understanding the bioavailability of a substance will help you determine how much you need to take—and in what form—to ensure its desired potential effects and how it may act in the body. Before finding out the bioavailability level of CBD and selecting the best product to use, let us identify different methods of introducing CBD to the body, and their associated bioavailability.

CBD Products: Bioavailability, Forms, and Categories

CBD’s bioavailability largely depends on the method you choose to use to consume CBD products. You may notice that these items are available in a variety of forms, including oils, tinctures, capsules, bath bombs, and more. Each requires a different usage method, and often comes in multiple concentrations of CBD. All these products mean that there are several ways to get a dose of CBD, and each method comes with its own bioavailability. Which one is right for you?

From what we’ve learnt about bioavailability, intravenous administration is probably the most direct method of consuming CBD. This is mainly because this procedure is done by injecting the drug directly into the bloodstream through the veins. While it may potentially deliver 100% of CBD into the body, it is probably not the most popular option available, especially for anyone who’s not into needles and doesn’t have any medical training. Alternatively, though, there are other, more comfortable ways to consume CBD.


Oral or ingestible CBD products, such as capsules and gummies, are basically intended to be swallowed. Most of us are probably aware of how oral consumption works. First, you consume the product through your mouth, and then it passes through your metabolic and digestive systems, where the absorption of potential nutrients begins. Given that people are already familiar with it, oral consumption is considered the easiest way to take CBD.However, it is also the least effective in terms of CBD consumption. Here’s what happens in the body when you take a CBD capsule or any edible substance through the mouth. During its journey through the metabolic and digestive systems, many potential CBD nutrients are being filtered out. Before it finally reaches the bloodstream, some of the CBD is already lost in the digestive tract. As a result, the bioavailability of the product is likely reduced. With so many nutrients lost during the oral process, many studies imply that the oral bioavailability of CBD might only be between 6% to 20% (Wall et al.,1983). This means that with every 100mg of CBD edibles you take, only 20mg of CBD may actually reach your bloodstream. And, since the ingestion may usually take up to 2 hours in most cases, you may likely feel the potential effects of CBD within 30 to 120 minutes. In a nutshell, if you want to obtain the maximum possible CBD results as quickly as possible, you may consider using a different form of CBD product, which we will review in the next section.


Sublingual products, such as CBD oil tinctures, are absorbed through the vein under the tongue called sublingual gland. When you apply a few drops of CBD oil to your sublingual gland, the potential nutrients may be absorbed directly into your bloodstream. The trick for using this method is to securely hold the CBD drops beneath the tongue for an appropriate amount of time as per instruction (typically between 30-60 seconds). Otherwise, if you swallow the drops too soon, or mistakenly place them above your tongue, you may as well be taking CBD orally. If you are looking for quicker results, sublingual consumption might serve as a more preferred option than the oral method. Given that sublingual products are more directly delivered into the bloodstream, some studies suggest that the bioavailability of sublingual consumption may range between 10% to 35%, which is significantly higher than oral ingestion (Schoedel et al.,2012).


While the above methods are both consumed through the mouth, topical consumption is an alternative way to take CBD, through the skin. Basically, topical products, such as CBD balms, lotions, and hand sanitisers, are absorbed right into the skin to be used locally, where needed.So, how do CBD topicals seem to work? The topical CBD products may potentially engage with the endocannabinoid receptors of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The PNS can be further divided into somatic and visceral divisions. The somatic division, in particular, is responsible for the collection of signals from receptors in the skin, sensory organs, etc. In this light, topical consumption might be the best way to provide possible pain relief in particular areas of the skin, including on sore joints and muscles (Bruni et al.,2018). However, there’s still a lack of evidence to quantify the bioavailability of topical methods, since it only allows CBD to interact with the skin and muscle receptors— which evidently does not deliver CBD into the bloodstream.


Intranasal products, such as vaporising devices, are consumed through inhalation. With a CBD vape, your lungs may immediately absorb CBD, allowing it to potentially enter the bloodstream within a few minutes. The possible efficiency of CBD via vaping is central to multiple studies reporting its potential bioavailability rates between 34% to 46% (Paudel et al.,2010).

Now that we have a basic understanding of different ways to administer CBD into the body, and their bioavailability rates, the next important step is to check the label when you shop for CBD products. As you do so, you will likely encounter three different tags, such as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD-isolate on each product. Also known as CBD’s “broad categories”, these labels determine the amount of CBD, THC, or other cannabinoids and terpenes used during the product’s formulation. The point of knowing this information is to make sure that you are purchasing the right CBD-infused or THC-free products for you. Each category has specific potential uses; so, it’s safe to say that there is no better category than the rest. It’s all down to individual tastes. Let’s break down what you need to know about these CBD options in the market.

Isolate: CBD Only

As the name suggests, this category refers to the isolated cannabinoid from the extraction of the cannabis plant. During the process of CBD isolation, all substances that the plant contains, including chlorophyll, oils, wax, terpenes, flavonols, and other cannabinoids, are removed. CBD isolate is then considered the “purest” extract that contains nothing but CBD. Those who prefer not to consume any other cannabinoids or terpenes (aromatic molecules also found in the cannabis Sativa plant) or who have a sensitivity to THC may opt for products that are labelled as CBD-isolate in order to potentially benefit from the natural properties of CBD on its own.

Broad Spectrum: Whole Plant w/o THC

Broad-spectrum CBD is the middle ground between CBD-isolate and full-spectrum products. It is a relatively new and evolving category, which contains some of the chemical compounds of the cannabis plant except for THC. Similarly to their counterparts, broad-spectrum products undergo a normal process of extraction, where essential cannabinoids, including CBD, are preserved; but THC is entirely removed.

Furthermore, studies imply that the entourage effect of broad-spectrum CBD products may still contribute to potential synergistic, heightened results to your wellbeing. So if you are looking for possible increased effects without the possibility of any ‘high’, broad-spectrum products might suit your needs.

How to Increase CBD Bioavailability

When it comes to CBD consumption, we all wish to get the most of its potential benefits. This urge often has us believing that the greater bioavailability, the better our experience will be. Unfortunately, we cannot increase the bioavailability of CBD. Instead, we can enhance our selected products and consumption methods to make sure that our body receives an ideal dose of CBD for our individual bodies.The general rule of getting the right CBD dose is to consider a few factors, including the user’s weight, any health conditions they may have, and medication intake, if applicable. Once you have determined your ideal dose of CBD, you can stick with it, as you are unlikely to develop a tolerance to CBD (Babalonis et al.,2017). So, here are a few possible ways to enhance your CBD consumption.

First, try to do some basic mathematics when taking CBD products at home. By multiplying your chosen method’s bioavailability rate by the amount of CBD per serving, you can find the “actual” dose of CBD you’ll receive.

This allows you to adjust your serving size accordingly. Let’s say, for instance, you are using pure CBD oil that offers 50mg of CBD per 1 full dropper (one serving). By choosing the sublingual method, multiply its bioavailability level (10% – 35%) by your preferred serving, and you will likely receive up to 17.5% CBD. You can adjust your serving up to 6 drops per day, if you want to potentially increase the bioavailability rate of your CBD consumption. Likewise, choosing a high-fat meal to include in your diet might possibly enhance CBD’ ’s bioavailability. CBD is naturally fat-soluble; thus it can be dissolved easily in fatty oils. Dissolving CBD in fatty oils allows its molecules to break down into smaller substances, which the body can absorb more easily than the large ones. Suppose you prefer an oral or edible CBD consumption method. In that case, you may mix your CBD edibles with high-fat foods, such as red meat, tropical oil, and dairy products to potentially improve the bioavailability of oral CBD.

Easy Ways to Incorporate CBD into Your Daily Wellness Routine

Here at Goodbody, we promise to offer pure CBD products that may potentially provide possible therapeutic benefits for your wellbeing, without causing any intoxicating effects. Here are different ways to potentially improve your lifestyle with our premium collection of UK-formulated CBD products.

Using CBD Oil Sublingually

The Goodbody Botanicals’ CBD drops are made with natural flavourings, and as such is a perfect option for those who like to take only the best out of nature. It is a well-blended full-spectrum product that contains 1000mg of pure CBD with lower, non-detectable levels of THC to offer a possibly potent formulation without any potential ‘high’ effect. We’ve tackled above the promising bioavailability of sublingual methods, ranging between 2.5% to 20%. So if you want to potentially get the most of every drop, make sure to place at least 2 to 3 drops of CBD oil under your tongue for as long as possible. This way may provide enough time for CBD to interact with your sublingual gland and reach the bloodstream.

Adding CBD Edibles to Your Regular Diet

Are you planning for a new healthy diet and exercise regimen but don’t know where to start? You’re in luck— we’ve got plenty of ideas on how you may incorporate CBD edibles into your kitchen. You may begin with our selection of vitamin-packed CBD oil drops that come in various flavours, including orange and lemon and peppermint.Most users follow the usual method of adding a couple of drops into any dish they’re making. You might think that mixing CBD with the food you eat could reduce its potential nutritional value, but that isn’t true. As we have discussed earlier, adding CBD edibles to fatty foods may even potentially increase the amount of CBD absorption in the body. Aside from adding them to dishes, you can also add CBD drops to any of your favourite drinks, such as tea, coffee, or protein shakes. While homemade dishes and beverages are the ideal pairing for CBD, it may work just as well when added to any baked good or dessert.Alternatively, a generous dosage of our natural CBD soft gels after food might be a perfect replacement for your supplements. Some people may also enjoy taking CBD gummies, especially when they feel like snacking between each mealtime. If you love spending most of your time in the kitchen, you’ll probably be delighted to know that there are actually many creative ways to cook with CBD. These days, you may even find several innovative edible products made with CBD, and it might never hurt to try them and see whether they’re right for you.

Introducing CBD topicals into Your Beauty Routines

Perhaps one of the primary reasons people use CBD topicals for skincare is possibly supplementing acne and other skin conditions. Whether you have similar issues with your skin, or you’re just looking for some extensive and constant additions to your beauty routine, it is always essential to decide on the right products to use.Research suggests that CBD may potentially contain antioxidants, molecules which help regulate environmental impurities and free radical damage that can cause several skin problems and visual symptoms of ageing (Hacke et al.,2019). So, how do you implement CBD topicals into your current skincare routine? Our mission at Goodbody is to provide you with all the essentials you need for your CBD beauty regimen. For starters our premium range of CBD bath bombs will give your skin the overall deep cleanse it needs after prolonged contact with dirt, toxic chemicals, and ultraviolet rays. Pampering time never stops with a wide variety of CBD-infused moisturisers to maintain your skin’s hydration after a long, warm bath. From CBD moisturising creams to oil serums, we have potential solutions to help keep your skin glow all day long. A gentle reminder though to do a patch test to determine whether these products suit your skin type. Nonetheless, we make sure to use only natural ingredients to potentially provide more pure nourishment and avoid skin irritation.

Bottom Line

The CBD market has been generating huge headlines these days. Its popularity continues to bolster much excitement throughout the healthcare community, but there is little consistent regulation throughout the marketplace. This can leave many would-be users confused and unaware of which CBD products and methods will best suit their needs. The UK Government Food Standards Agency (FSA) has brought in much needed regulations so that any company selling CBD products must have submitted a validated Novel Food License application prior to 31st March 2021. This allows their products to legally remain on sale after this date. Goodbody are pleased to announce that we have submitted our report in accordance with the timings and guidelines given.Fortunately, today’s market is only full of product reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations to help consumers compare options and make choices. Thus, we highly encourage every user to do their own research when incorporating a new CBD product into their lifestyle. Understanding the different CBD consumption methods and their bioavailability levels may not only help you increase the efficiency of the product you’re taking, but it may also save you from overspending on items with low bioavailability.
About Goodbody

Goodbody is the UK’s first prestige CBD wellness centre brand. Goodbody Wellness and Goodbody Botanicals are based in the UK and specialise in premium CBD and wellness products. Goodbody is the only CBD company that manages the manufacturing process from seed to shelf to have full traceability of the products at each stage to offer consistent quality products, every time you purchase. At Goodbody, we also strive to provide the highest quality CBD products, which we demonstrate by our stringent quality control and rigorous testing by PhytoVista Labs, an independently managed laboratory working with ISO standards. We can proudly say that our products are made and lab-certified in the UK.

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